surprise


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Related to surprise: Surprise party

catch (someone) by surprise

To startle, amaze, or come upon (someone) unawares. That car coming around the corner caught me by surprise. She was caught completely by surprise with the amount of donations she received. Don't let hidden bank fees catch you by surprise.
See also: catch, surprise

be in for a surprise

To be guaranteed to receive or experience an unexpected outcome, especially a negative one. If you think being a parent is easy, then you're in for a surprise!
See also: surprise

surprise, surprise

Said ironically of or in a situation in which something very predictable has happened. A: "I somehow managed to break yet another phone!" B: "Surprise, surprise! How many does that make it this year?" I was telling Sarah about going to the movies with my friend Jess, and surprise, surprise, she launched into another fit of jealousy.
See also: surprise

be taken by surprise

To be happened upon when one is not ready, prepared, or on guard; to be shocked or startled by someone or something. I was taken completely by surprise when you showed up at my office this afternoon for lunch. I wish you would have called ahead! The enemy encampment was taken by surprise when our troops descended upon them just before daybreak.
See also: surprise, taken

element of surprise

A method of stealth or secrecy employed to catch someone off-guard. I'll get mom to let me stay out till midnight, but I can't ask her now, when she's expecting it—I need the element of surprise. The fish camouflages itself and disappears onto the ocean floor, relying on the element of surprise to catch its prey.
See also: element, of, surprise

quelle surprise

A French phrase that means "what a surprise." Often said sarcastically. A: "Ruth isn't coming tonight? Quelle surprise." B: "I know, she's ditched us at the last minute once again."
See also: surprise

come as no surprise

To be completely unsurprising. Considering how much they had been fighting lately, their break-up came as no surprise. If you didn't study for that test at all, your failing grade should come as no surprise.
See also: come, no, surprise

take (one) by surprise

To encounter or otherwise engage something or someone who is not prepared or on guard; to shock or startle someone or something by one's sudden appearance or action. You took me by surprise when you showed up at my office with flowers this afternoon! Our soldiers descended upon the enemy encampment just before daybreak and took their troops entirely by surprise.
See also: surprise, take

in (some kind of) fashion

In a certain manner or kind of way (of doing something). Last week, in a rather surprising fashion, the usually conservative tech company announced it would be opening up its source code to allow aspiring programmers to rework their popular web browser in new and innovative ways. The team won the championship in dramatic fashion, with a field goal from midfield in the final seconds of the game.
See also: fashion, kind

come as no surprise

will not be surprising [for someone] to learn [something]. It will come as no surprise for you to learn that the company is losing money this year. It came as no surprise that the president had been lying.
See also: come, no, surprise

I'm not surprised.

 and I don't wonder.
It is not surprising.; It should not surprise anyone. Mary: All this talk about war has my cousin very worried. Sue: No doubt. At his age, I don't wonder. John: All of the better-looking ones sold out right away. Jane: I'm not surprised.
See also: not, surprise

surprise someone by something

to astonish someone by doing or being something. You surprised me by your forthrightness. No one was surprised by the way it happened.
See also: surprise

surprise someone with something

to astonish someone by presenting or showing something. I surprised her with a bouquet of roses. He surprised Roger with a new car.
See also: surprise

take someone by surprise

 and catch someone by surprise
to startle someone; to surprise someone with something unexpected. Oh! You took me by surprise because I didn't hear you come in. Bill caught his mother by surprise by coming to the door and pretending to be selling something.
See also: surprise, take

take someone or something by surprise

to startle or surprise someone or something. She bolted into the room and took them by surprise. I took the little bird by surprise, and it flew away.
See also: surprise, take

take by surprise

Encounter unexpectedly, as in The rainshower took us by surprise. [Late 1600s]
See also: surprise, take

surˌprise, surˈprise

(spoken, ironic) used when you are not surprised about something: ‘There’s nothing worth watching on TV tonight.’ ‘Surprise, surprise’ (= there is usually nothing worth watching).
See also: surprise

take somebody by surˈprise

happen to somebody unexpectedly; surprise somebody: His decision to retire took us all by surprise.
See also: somebody, surprise, take
References in periodicals archive ?
Complexity describes the natural systems and their interactive dynamics, including critical-point behaviour and surprise.
He says they wanted advice on a number of fronts, which despite all the recent awards the company has earned, also came as a surprise to the Northern Ontario operator.
Good examples, and the authors' effective rendering of how such a system would work, make Predictable Surprises a fine primer on risk management.
We knew we had a good film," says Dowse, "but I think the surprise of its success continues to grow as it keeps gaining momentum.
I smile as I think about how my career in the paper industry has distilled the instructions I give my staff to only two items--do not embarrass me and do not surprise me.
The experience of their own agency, to introduce projects, to affect change in the community, to negotiate assignments with a teacher, and to redefine their own roles in society, is a surprise that produces more surprises yet beyond the confines of the classroom and into the space of public life.
Clearly Norris likes this Gospel episode for its hint of how the numinous works (or plays) in our world, flashing out for a surprise transformative instant.
A third surprise is that we can see the strange alliances within the self-conscious tradition, usually the mainstream, or what Sigfried Giedion called the 'ruling style' of architecture.
Berkshire Hathaway's $275 million surprise charge for Cologne Re after acquiring General Reinsurance Corp.
It was a race which featured wide open betting, but April Surprise eventually closed the 5-2 favourite and she certainly justified the rating.
Surprise dramas can be used with any theme or topic.
In an article in Psychology of Science titled "Cerebral Self Defense," the author divides assaults into three psychological categories: the consent assault, the suspicion assault, and the surprise assault.
But surely, you may say, in this age of technical intelligence, of electronic surveillance, of spy satellites alerting us to the enemy's every move, surprise attack is a thing of the past.
Holly, 33, already mum to Harry, four, and two-year-old Belle, wrote: "Surprise Surprise (and it was a surprise